NEW DELHI: Central Government has allocated Rs. 5,601.16 Crore grant to Assam under the Jal Jeevan Mission, which was Rs. 1,608.51 Crore in 2020-21. National Jal Jeevan Mission, Ministry of Jal Shakti has also released Rs. 700 Crores to the State as first tranche.
Union Minister, Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat while approving this four-fold increase in allocation has assured full assistance to the State for making provision of tap water supply in every rural home by 2024. This is in light of PM Narendra Modi’s vision to provide clean tap water to every household in the state.
In the state, on 15th August 2019, at the time of launch of Jal Jeevan Mission, only 1.11 lakh (1.76%) households out of a total of 63.35 lakh households in 25,335 villages, had tap water supply. In the last 22 months, 6.88 lakh households (10.87%) in the State have been provided tap water connections, thus 7.99 lakh households (12.63%) are having tap water supply.
The State has to provide tap water supply to remaining 55.35 lakh households in next three years. To achieve this task, the State has planned to provide tap water connections to 22.63 lakh households in 2021-22, 20.84 lakh households in 2022-23, and 13.20 lakh tap water connections in 2023-24.
At the start of the Mission in 2019, out of a total of 19.20 Crore rural households in the country, only 3.23 Crore (17%) had tap water supply. During the last 22 months, despite Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown disruptions, Jal Jeevan Mission, has been implemented with speed and 4.32 Crore households have been provided with piped connections.
With the increase in coverage by 22%, presently 7.56 Crore (39.38%) rural households across the country have tap water supply. Goa, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands and Puducherry have achieved 100% household connection in rural areas and has become ‘Har Ghar Jal’. Following the principle of his vision of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, the motto of the Mission is that ‘no one is left out’ and every household in a village should be provided with tap water connection. Currently, in 62 districts and more than 93 thousand villages, every household has tap water supply.
The allocation of the Central grant to Assam under JJM has been enhanced to Rs. 5,601.16 Crore. With this fourfold increase in Central allocation, unspent balance of Rs 123.78 Crore and State’s matching share of Rs 636.10 Crore, Assam has an assured availability of Rs. 6,361.04 Crore under Jal Jeevan Mission for water supply work in 2021-22.
In 2021-22, Rs 712 Crore has been allocated to Assam as 15th Finance Commission tied grant to Rural Local Bodies/ PRIs for water & sanitation. There is an assured funding of Rs 3,752 Crore for the next five years i.e. up to 2025-26. This huge investment in rural areas of Assam, will create new employment opportunities, accelerate economic activities and also boost rural economy.
To ensure safe tap water to children in schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres in the country, PM Modi announced 100-days campaign, which was launched by the Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on 2nd October 2020. As a result, States/ UTs like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have made provision of tap water in all schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres.
In Assam so far, only 11,076 schools (26%) and 2,257 anganwadi centres (6%) have been provided piped water supply. Central Government has asked the State Government to ensure that in few months, provision of safe tap water is made in all remaining schools, ashramshalas and anganwadi centres including provision of hand washing and piped water in toilets and urinals. This will help our children to have better health, improved sanitation and hygiene.